Earlier today, I noticed that some of my colleagues were hot and bothered about some fresh atrocity, but I had to rush off to teach before I got clued in. Later in the afternoon, I learned what all the fuss was about. It was about a flier we had all received regarding next week's "Sexual Assault Awareness Week." Since there's a senate meeting tomorrow, and I'm one of my School's senators, I immediately wrote my colleagues:
As you know, many of us have long complained about the anti-intellectualism and sub-collegiate cluelessness of college leadership and of so much of what goes on at IVC (embarrassing commencement speeches, bouncy-house invitationals, dubious kiddie competitions, etc.).
The latest chapter, in my view, is the upcoming “Sexual assault awareness week,” which appears to have been organized by the Young Republicans. Check it out. (There’s a flier in your mail slot.)
Obviously, I have no objection to holding such a "Week." The various events of the “Week,” however, seem to reflect an understanding of the sexual assault issue according to which women had better get on the stick (self-protection, increased assertiveness, survival), men seemingly have no role at all, and, luckily, Title
XIIX “protects all.”
|Featured speaker Janina Scarlet|
Further, the “Week” ends with a presentation by speaker Janina Scarlet, who will explain “Superhero Therapy,” which “refers to incorporating characters from geek culture, including Superheroes and other characters from comic books, as well as characters from fantasy, science fiction, and video games into evidence-based therapy….”
I’m not familiar with the latter, but it doesn’t sound promising. (See Scarlet’s video, Coping with Celebrity Deaths.)
Part of the problem here, I think, is that the organizers of the “Week” failed to consult with the various experts that are available among faculty, including especially some of the faculty of the School of Humanities (Women’s Studies instructors, et al.).
At Thursday’s Senate Meeting, I will note this problem and will ask that the Senate Prez to communicate faculty’s displeasure with the planned "Week," if such is the case. Perhaps future organizers will be encouraged to at least engage in the appropriate consultation.
I have already received several responses. Some viewed Scarlet's video and were horrified, despite their love of geek heroes David Bowie, Alan Rickman, et al. Some seethed anew about more familiar routine spasms of abject anti-intellectualism at this college. One person agreed with my sentiments but suggested that my referring to the "Young Republicans" was passé. A colleague noted that one of Scarlet's geek heroes is a known anti-Semite. Sheesh!
What do you think about this superhero guff and the rest of "awareness" week?
From the flier: